By Christina Postolowski
In less than 100 days, people will be able to buy insurance on a new, online Health Insurance Marketplace. Nationwide, approximately 1 in 4 young women ages 18 to 34 are uninsured. When the Marketplace opens for business on October 1st, these young women will be able to compare plans side-by-side and apply for discounts on health insurance.
But that’s not all. Previously on the Young Invincibles blog, we’ve highlighted some of the other ways the health care reform law – commonly known as Obamacare – expands access to health care for our generation. With the start of countdown to the Marketplace opening, we wanted to highlight the many health care benefits young women will receive thanks to the new health care law.
One of my favorite shows is Community, which follows the relationships and adventures of unlikely group of friends at a fictional community college. Outside of the realm of television, finding affordable health insurance coverage is a serious concern for many real community college students.
This got me thinking…
How would the female characters of Community feel about the real-life provisions of Obamacare for young women?
Britta Perry is known for her well-intentioned, but sometimes misguided, outrage against the ‘corporate patriarchy.’ Obamacare ends a practice by insurance companies that Britta – and all women – are justified in being angry about. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge women more than men solely because of their gender. In addition, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to women with ‘pre-existing conditions’ – like having a C-section or getting medical treatment for domestic violence.
2. Birth control coverage and STI screenings at no extra cost, yes please!
In the show, overachiever Annie Edison volunteers to organize the campus STD fair, even though she’s never seen a real male…whatchamacallit. Whether your comfortable with your sexuality or ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ about it like Annie, all women can take comfort in one thing: starting in 2014, health plans must cover preventive services for women – including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV testing and counseling – at no additional cost.
3. Comprehensive maternity and newborn care- check!
When Shirley Bennett unexpectedly goes into labor during the groups’ Anthropology final, and a ‘kerfuffle’ in the school parking lot prevents her from getting to the hospital, Shirley is forced rely on her friends to deliver her baby. Before Obamacare, many insurance plans in the individual market did not provide or had inadequate maternity coverage, leaving women to rely on themselves and their families to cover the costs. Starting in 2014, though, all plans sold on the Marketplace must provide comprehensive maternity and newborn care. In addition, plans must cover preventive services for expectant and new mothers – like gestational diabetes testing and breastfeeding supplies and counseling – without co-pays or deductibles.
Want to learn more about the health care benefits for young women under Obamacare? Go to www.healthcare.gov. And check out this guide to health care reform for community colleges published by Young Invincibles and CLASP.
Remember: Open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace starts October 1st!